He calls it the ‘shy hormone’, that quirky French genius, who’s steadfast commitment to celebrating a woman’s innate birthing brilliance has been a constant inspiration to me through out my career.
Most obstetricians I have worked with probably only consider it when ‘labour dystocia’ is present! The hormone with the mostest when it comes to allowing the birthing process to move forward to an empowering climax…is oxytocin.
We know a lot about what encourages oxytocin to be present in a woman’s body in abundance, just as we understand what can inhibit its flow.
A list of oxy-pro factors:
Feeling safe and loved
A list of oxy-antagonist:
Tense body postures
Being inhibited regarding movement
That’s right, both lists are not exhaustive, you can add to them because you get the idea. Now think about arriving at hospital, knowing that your birthing is under way……..and suddenly it becomes VERY clear why the use of ‘synthetic’ oxytocin is on the increase (more about that in a longer post later).
Knowing these basic things about how our bodies have worked for thousands of years should inform our behaviour right? Hey, evolution is no slouch when it comes to efficacy!
Midwives knowing this CAN make a MASSIVE difference, birthing partners deeply understanding these ‘facts’ will know how to behave around their loved ones, I find a sense of hope rises up in me when I consider how simple it will be to facilitate ‘wickedly’ enriching birth experiences.
Men: when the woman you love is being taken over by an oxytocin fuelled trip,you are going to become an adrenalin factory! Why? Because when we were hunter gathers she needed protecting. She still DOES!
The difference now is that ‘fighting’ or ‘fleeing’ is not an option. Being present, as a protective ‘force-field’ of lovingkindness is your job, understanding what’s going on will help.